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modules 3,4,5 section review

modules 3,4,5 section review - Module 3 Earth Systems 1...

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Module 3 Earth Systems 1. Main Concepts: a. Earth Systems : A complex system that is organically integrated with other systems dictated by science and biology. b. Human System and Earth System Interaction c. Energy Production and Consumption and Earth Systems d. Global Megaforces (Climate Change, Water Availability, Ecosystem Degradation, Population, Poverty, Urbanization)- We do not really understand how they are working, but they will shape our lives greatly. e. Sustainable Development : Optimizing human welfare, maintaining life support systems, and ensuring social equity. f. Global Energy System : Major uses are mobility, heat and light which comes from oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro and renewable sources- they all generate power g. Peak Oil : Argument that oil output is currently at or near the highest level it will ever reach (assumes little or no technology change). h. Natural Resource Curse : We would normally have the expectation that the producing country would benefit economically- jobs, money, economy- but this very rarely happens. Most of the time, the oil producing countries’ economies get worse. i. Renewable Energy Sources : “Big Squeeze” “Big Acceleration” The scenarios on the world map for various natural disasters, if steps to slow global warming are not taken.
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2. Key Relationships: a. Earth and Human systems interact with one another in multiple ways (multiple causal loops). They are all connected and don’t follow physical/cultural boundaries: more defined by biology and laws of science. b. There are six big challenges: climate change, water availability, ecosystem health, poverty, population size, and urbanization; Climate Change: Effects food, water, and ecosystems; it is most severe in Lower East Asia, Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa; c. Renewable energy sources and research are important to slow harmful effects of ecosystem degradation. d. World energy system a.i. Consumption vs. production: who has the biggest carbon emissions—who exports/imports a.i.1. US is the most dependent on oil imports. a.i.2. US imports energy as opposed to a country that exports energy (Russia selling natural gas to Europe, exports of oil from Middle East). 10 indicators of earth systems’ health; 7 go up (humidity, temperature over the oceans, sea surface temperature, ocean heat content, sea level, air temperature near surface, temperature over the land), 3 go down (sea ice, glaciers, and snow cover) 6. Relation to Other Modules: 1- Globalization and the global trade of fossil fuels have lead to increased consumption. Different solutions can be communicated and shard easily across borders. Technology that can help mitigate the effects is also shared around the world. The idea that everyone deserves a ‘high quality life’ has promoted increased global consumption.
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2- NGOs and IGOs are the vehicle through which we can manage the global environmental problems. Amsterdam Declaration, Kyoto, UN conventions, Greenpeace… 3- When economies grow, there is greater pressure on the earth systems and almost every developing country promotes economic growth over environmental concerns.
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